Okay, I have to start with some very tough love, and you're not going to like it. But this is a fact: Your relationship will have the best chance of survival if you let go of your romantic illusions. I'm not saying relationships can't be romantic long-term, but -- brace yourself -- most of the time they're not. What confuses us is that the same partner that excited us in the beginning can now leave us bored stupid! It's this longing for the past that causes problems in the present.
Most relationships start with a heady infusion of intoxicating hormones: You're in a bubble built for two, and there's a feeling of oneness. Over time this extreme closeness would be suffocating, but at the start it feels bloody marvelous! We want that feeling to continue forever, and when it (inevitably) doesn't, we jump to this conclusion: We've picked the wrong person. But that isn't necessarily true. This happens to every relationship eventually. (Yes, even yours.) Real love is about leaving this fantasy behind. It might have felt like you were much more in love at the start than you are three, four or more years on, but it's actually a figment of your imagination. Real, long-term intimacy happens when the initial flush of hormones subsides. Only then are you able to see each other as you really are -- and a deeper, more satisfying, realistic love replaces the romantic one.
Talk about this together, then make a pact to not expect the impossible from each other. Once you agree to be realistic about your expectations of each other, the relief is enormous! You'll feel like a weight has been lifted -- I promise.